With one more practice before the Bears travel to Denver for Sunday’s game, the team is continuing to practice caution when it comes to the health of tight end Trey Burton. 

Burton – who missed Week 1’s loss with a strained groin – has been a limited participant in practice this week, and the team’s approaching the situation on a day-by-day basis. While he’ll continue to be limited, the Bears don’t feel the need to put him through a full practice before any hypothetical return to the starting lineup.

“I think he could be theoretically limited throughout the week,” Matt Nagy said on Thursday. “He did have a good day yesterday, which is good. We want to stack those up. Like I said, when we get to the weekend, we’ll see exactly where he’s at.” 

He was considered a game-time decision going into the Packers game a week ago, and was seen before kickoff warming up with his trainers, coaches and teammates on the field. While he said he felt good afterwards, he ultimately wouldn’t play – a decision that was made by the team, not Burton. He admitted that while he was frustrated to be on the sidelines, he understands and is on board with the team’s hyper-cautious approach.

“I can’t be more thankful to be in an organization like this,” he said. “Not many other places would do what they do in here in Chicago, from the head trainer to the GM to the head coach. I’m so thankful for those guys and the process. They’ve trusted me through all of this.”

 

Burton’s never had to deal with a prolonged injury like this before; the six-year vet has played in at least 15 games every season. The fickle nature of the injury only makes it worse. 

“It’s been just a really humbling process,” he added. “Waking up every day, I just don’t know how I’m going to feel. I would like to feel really good. Mentally, I can’t sit on the bench any longer, you know? But my body hasn’t caught up to that, so I’ve just had to humble myself.”

While the public-facing quotes around Halas Hall continue to preach optimism, many saw Wednesday’s signing of tight end J.P. Holtz as a tea leaf worth reading heading into Sunday’s matchup. 

“It’s probably just a little bit of everything right now,” Nagy said. “I don’t think it’s one specific thing. He does have some special teams value. We just feel that that he’s an interesting piece for us offensively.” 

He also mentioned Holtz’s versatility as both a Y and U, something the Nagy-Era Bears have always looked for from their backup tight ends. And while Burton is optimistic that this groin injury isn't as bad (he mentioned that it's never felt as severe as the offseason one that eventually required surgery), the frustration is starting to take a toll. 

“This whole process is crazy," he said, "and I’ve never been through anything like it.

"Every day is a different day. Some days I feel really good, some days I don’t feel good at all. It’s been a very humbling process.”